“I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.”
Stevenson’s classic warning of the dangers of science, overreaching and succumbing to temptation epitomises the Gothicism of the its era, with a healthy dollop of sensationalism thrown in for good measure. The tale of Henry Jekyll, the esteemed physician who delves too deep into his own nature, the book tells of how such actions resulted in the discovery of the terrible Mr. Hyde, a twisted and deformed study in amorality. As the bodies stack up, Jekyll’s legal friend Mr. Utterson tries desperately to discover the truth before further calamities strike London. Teeming with memorable characters, shocking developments and thought-provoking dilemmas, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is as relevant today as ever.
Following Strange Case’s inclusion upon the new GCSE specification for English Literature (first assessments in 2017), CBy Publishing hereby publishes the full, unabridged 1886 text, complete with Charles Raymond Macauley’s illustrations to the 1904 edition, annotation-friendly margins and a plethora of background material to aid student analysis.
What has this student edition got over other editions?
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The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.
This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.
This edition also features 12 full-page wood engravings by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Moser is a skillful reader and interpreter as well as artist, and his afterword to the book, in which he explains the process by which he chose a self-portrait motif for the suite of engravings, is fascinating. For the image of Edward Hyde, he writes, "I went so far as to have my dentist fit me out with a carefully sculpted prosthetic of evil-looking teeth. But in the final moments I had to abandon the idea as being inappropriate. It was more important to stay in keeping with the text and, like Stevenson, not show Hyde's face." (Also recommended: the edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Barry Moser) --Fiona WebsterFrom the Publisher:
The Broadview Literary Texts series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, though lesser-known literature.
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